Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t a happy little debunker; Ask an Aussie if there is anything rare or endangered about Kangaroos, or road pests as we think of them, and most of us would collapse into helpless laughter. But for reasons which are unclear US Congress is set to consider a bipartisan Kangaroo Product ban.
U.S. Lawmakers Introduce Kangaroo Protection Act to Blunt the World’s ‘Largest Wildlife Slaughter’
Congressmen Salud Carbajal and Brian Fitzpatrick Say ‘No More Killing Kangaroos for Athletic Shoes’
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., this week introduced the Kangaroo Protection Act to ban the sale of kangaroo body parts in the United States. The bill aims to curb the massive trade in kangaroo skins used by Nike, adidas, Puma, and other companies for manufacturing soccer shoes (“cleats”). Though sold throughout the world, the U.S. is the second-largest market, behind only the European Union. Animal Wellness Action, Animal Wellness Foundation, Center for a Humane Economy and SPCA International, the Michelson Center for Public Policy, and others applaud the initiative and call on lawmakers to pass the legislation.
“Nike and other major athletic shoe companies are fueling the world’s largest commercial slaughter of terrestrial wildlife,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy. “It’s time for the company to shed kangaroo skins from its product lines and embrace 21st-century sensibilities about wildlife protection.”
“Commercial shooters kill roughly two million wild kangaroos a year to profit from the trade in their skins, despite the availability of alternative fabrics that are of similar or better quality. While California has banned the sale of kangaroo products, enforcement of this inhumane practice is lacking,” said Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif. “I’m proud to stand against kangaroo trafficking and have introduced the Kangaroo Protection Act to make it illegal to exploit kangaroos in the United States and impose penalties for violations.”
“Kangaroos are victims of the largest commercial slaughter of land-based wildlife in the world. As a member of the bipartisan Congressional Animal Protection Caucus and an outspoken defender of animals, I will continue to be committed to ensuring that our government is doing everything in its power to promote and protect animal welfare,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn. “Our bipartisan Kangaroo Protection Act of 2021 will make it illegal to exploit kangaroos in the United States and ensure that penalties are imposed for violations. I am proud to join my colleague Rep. Carbajal in this fight.”
…Read more: https://centerforahumaneeconomy.org/2021/02/09/us-lawmakers-introduce-kangaroo-protection-act-to-blunt-worlds-largest-wildlife-slaughter/
Culling was not introduced as a commercial activity. Culling was introduced to alleviate suffering, and prevent the utter destruction of the land during dry spells. The following is a video of what happens when kangaroos are not culled, when they run out of food.
From the farmer who shot the video;
‘Kangaroos are beautiful animals and an icon of this wonderful region,’ the concerned farmer said.
‘But we are genuinely concerned because if their population levels exceed what the land can naturally sustain, then not only do the kangaroos suffer horribly, but this drought stricken land suffers further too- and this beautiful country will struggle to recover when it finally does rain.’
…Read more: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3360459/Bizarre-video-shows-kangaroos-avalanching-road-farmer-warns-s-genuinely-concerned-overpopulation.html
Without culling, kangaroos breed like crazy in good years. When the rains fail, a frequent occurrence in arid Australia, kangaroos form vast locust like swarms, eating the ground bare, destroying everything in their path, until the food supply is utterly exhausted. Then millions of them starve to death.
A kangaroo product ban will not stop the cull, because selling kangaroo products is not the reason for the cull. All a kangaroo product ban will achieve is the culled kangaroos will not be converted into useful products.
I wish someone in US Congress would explain why waves of overpopulation followed by the horrible lingering death of millions of kangaroos from starvation, and depriving people of their livelihoods, would be a better outcome than a bit of active land management.
Video of a kangaroo population crash which occurred in 2003. Warning, this video contains distressing images of dead and dying kangaroos.